In Sweden the commonly found matchboxes carry an illustration by the hand of one of the country’s finest illustrators: Einar Nerman (1888-1983). Nerman was very productive during his long life. He studied art in Stockholm and later also worked and lived in Paris, London and New York. He painted, designed costumes and sets for ballet, and
he illustrated magazines and books, amongst others for the works of his communist brother. It is said that he also composed music and set the poems of his brother to songs. We haven’t yet found such songs.
His short biography is on Wikipedia, but you will find much more about his work on Willy or Won’t He. Other delightful work is reproduced by 50 Watt, especially his fairy tale illustrations. Nerman was also a master caricaturist: have a look on the Drawger website.
Luckily for us Nerman started in 1913 to illustrate sheet music covers for many years, mostly for Ernst Rolfs Musikförlags, but also for other publishers such as A.B. Skandinaviska, Elkan & Schildknecht, and Nordiska Musikförlaget.
No doubt: Swedish design at its best!